A Joyful Student Mural at St. Jude's

continued from PRESS

by Caitlin Orr
from the Fullerton Observer, March 2014 (Page 12)

 A partnership between St. Jude Medical Center and the Fullerton School District has come to fruition! Students from the Fullerton School District have completed and installed their 8’ by 11’ mural at the St. Jude Medical Center on the East Skywalk Tower that crosses over Harbor Boulevard. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, March 17 at 5pm to officially welcome this new piece of art to Fullerton.

  A detail of the mosaic mural created by elementary school students in Katherine England’s art class.

A detail of the mosaic mural created by elementary school students in Katherine England’s art class.

  An overview of the entire mural which must be seen in person to enjoy the wonderful color and joyful impact.

An overview of the entire mural which must be seen in person to enjoy the wonderful color and joyful impact.

This collaboration was the brainchild of Fullerton School District Superintendent Dr. Robert Pletka and made possible by the dedication of the 5th through 8th grade students who volunteered their time. The mural is called “Circles of Love” and looks like a kaleidoscope with beautiful arrays of colors and glass and carries a message from the students that we can all benefit from: “Love One Another.”

“We are excited to support the imagination and creativity of these young artists,” said St. Jude Executive Vice President Brian Helleland. “This beautiful glass-art project reflects the joy and enthusiasm of the students who made it. We’re very pleased to encourage their originality while also allowing our visitors and patients to enjoy the budding artists’ efforts.” The art piece was made by students enrolled in the Masters Mosaics Club.

This club, led by Fullerton artist Katherine England, includes students from Sunset Lane and Parks Jr. High. The students were involved in every step of the mural’s creation, including the design, building, construction, glass cutting, adhering, and grouting of the mural. They were also an integral part in the business aspects of designing and selling art. They were able to learn both about the artistry of creating murals, as well as the importance of meeting a client’s needs. The club worked closely with St. Jude to create the masterpiece.

Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts for the Fullerton School District, Lauralyn Eschner, is thrilled with the project. She says, “This mural is a testament to Fullerton’s rich appreciation for the arts. This project raises the bar for our students by marrying creativity with the business of making and selling art. These are tools necessary for success in the 21st century.”

Artist Katherine England hopes her students will take away a sense of ownership and realize that it is possible to make a living doing art. She also reflects that, “One of the most beautiful aspects of this project is that it brought together a wide range of individuals, from the leadership of St. Jude, the Fullerton School District and the All the Arts Foundation; to the 5th through 8th grade students who built the mosaic, to local mosaic artists and businesses that helped with the installation. It is a gift by the community for the community that will bring joy to the staff, patients, and guests who get to enjoy the mural's beauty every day."